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CB Radio -- Help Me!

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posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 08:00 PM
I know very little about CB Radios. I know that they are great for trucking around the Pine Barrens...but that is about it.

I am looking for a decent CB Radio; at a very decent price. Usually when I ask this I am told to "Go to a trade show", or, "Ebay is great...!"


To someone who has no idea what he is looking for, it does nothing in the way of help. The purpose of this thread is to get some opinions on equipment and maybe some basic need-to-know info on the subject.

If you don't agree with someones opinion, great, but please tell me why. A page full of "X is better than Y!" is nothing but troll bait.

Thank you all.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 08:04 PM
reply to post by spines
First of all. Why do you want a C.B. in the first place? Second you should consider that a C.B. has alot drawbacks when you compare it to other types of radio com. equipment. You must ask yourself, "what am I going to do with a C.B.?"

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 08:09 PM
I had also thought about CB or grms radios but I am not familiar with them either. Hell, whenever there is a thunderstorm or accident on the interstate our AT&T cell service gets maxed out. I do not believe cell service would be available with even a mild disaster here and both my wife and I work in the city. Hey.. let's get some experts to review and comment.

So, what would be the suggestion for a base-station (for home) and 2 or 3 mobile units with a 30-40 mile range?

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by spookjr

I suppose the CB was my 'first step' into the world of radio equipment. It seems like it would be the easiest to obtain and would be a wonderful source of limited distance communication if ever the need should arise.

ie: Any SitX scenario that leaves you isolated and without any form of instant communication.

I do not have the money or the capability to go for big investments and I want to enter this with baby steps. The simpler the equipment, the less chances I would be left with a big metal box of junk when the need truly becomes urgent.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:00 PM
Just a dumb question.

Do people still really use CB radios?

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:10 PM
Go to your local truck stop. They have lots of radios to choose from. they can range from $30 to $500.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by spines

I have a Cb that I keep in my trunk for long drives or emergencies.

If you get stuck in the middle of nowhere, no cell reception, radioing a trucker might be a better bet, and faster, than trying to radio 911. Plus most truckers who are coming the opposite direction are willing to warn of any incliment weather or road conditions ahead.

Look for a Cobra set. Sometimes you can find these in thrift stores. If you don't want to actually attatch the antenna to your car, make sure that the magnet base is very strong, or it might blow off while you are driving.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:40 PM
Is it just me or does anyone else think that this topic has NOTHING to do with ATS! If you want this kind of info go to a retail shoppers site or something or do what everyone else does and use google and reviews...tsk, tsk, tsk...

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by WatchNLearn

I am coming to the survival forum here at ATS because I trust the opinions of the people I have spent many hours communicating with. Why would I bring a question that pertains to the issue anywhere else?

Would it be better if I were asking about sleeping bags or water filters?

edit to add: The mindset of the members most likely to contribute useful information is one which, on this forum, likes to look at simplicity of design, reliability in a 'no help desk' situation, and ease of transport/reliability.

Just to further adress my point I guess,

[edit on 9/11/0808 by spines]

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 09:58 PM

Originally posted by asmeone2
reply to post by spines

Look for a Cobra set. Sometimes you can find these in thrift stores. If you don't want to actually attatch the antenna to your car, make sure that the magnet base is very strong, or it might blow off while you are driving.

Thanks for the input. This brings up another, very novice I am sure, question: I have a soft top convertable. Would I be able to attach it to somewhere like the trunk of the car (it's a small trunk)?

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 10:19 PM
Citizens Band radios have started to make a comeback. So much so that my son in law is opening a CB shop.

All the members of my family and many of our friends have had CB radios installed in their automobiles. I have one on my boat and also my 4-wheeler.

None of us are CB users. We have gotten into Cb's for survival situations. When we all meet somewhere for dinner it looks like a bunch of rednecks gathered up with all of us sporting CB antennas on our autos.

When it comes to survival I leave no stone unturned and a CB radio seems like a good thing to have.

I bought a mid priced CB radio at one of the local truck stops. It's a Cobra and works fine.

Good luck and another good idea in the survival game.

edit to add: Yes you can use the magnetized antena on the trunk of your car as long as it is metal and not fiberglass or plastic. If it is, that is fairly easy to modify to make it work.

[edit on 11-9-2008 by dizziedame]

edit for dumb spelling mistake

[edit on 11-9-2008 by dizziedame]

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 10:32 PM

Thanks for the input. This brings up another, very novice I am sure, question: I have a soft top convertable. Would I be able to attach it to somewhere like the trunk of the car (it's a small trunk)?

So long as it's metal, it will stick to the top of the trunk--you will just have to run the wire from the base station (that is what you call the radio itself) back to the antenna. Some antennas are a single peice of metal, and some will telescope--I think the one-peice ones work a little bit better, but they are bulkier.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 10:35 PM
Also, an important tip:

In most places, Channel 9 is reserved for emergencies only and you shouldn't use it for general chitchat.

And another one of less importance:
If you plan to use the radio a lot, Get two peices of heavy duty industiral velcro. Use one to stick the radio to your dash board and the other to secure the microphone. That way they won't slid around when you stop or turn.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 11:16 PM
A soft top is no problem, If you don't want to go the mag mount route which can damage paintwork you can buy a bootmount, which is probably better, And you can just unscrew the aerial after use.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 11:37 PM
If you are looking to just get your feet wet and spend a whole lot as the talk on the CB does get old after awhile. I would reccomend a very basic Cobra 25 or 29. If most of your driving is at night, go for the Nightwatch set (which may be your only choice anyways). Avoid the truckstop prices unless you are just curious as to how much someone will ask for a basic radio. You might be ven able to buy new at Wal-Mart of all places.

Best places for bargins are at pawn shops for used just make sure that it is working or they will acept a return/refund if it is found not to be working.

Most units will have a plug for hardwiring to your car. Rather than deal with complexities do yourself the favor of visiting any truckstop to pick up a 12volt adapter (cigarette lighter plug). Wire it correctly and be absolutly sure that you are pluging the plug in the radio the correct way. It is not idiot proof and reversing the positive and negative is very bad--read a visit to a CB repair shop to have components replaced for more than you want to pay.

As for the 30-40 mile range for 2-way communication with a base station...good luck unless you have zero obstructions and live in an area as flat and open as Kansas or Iowa.

Base stations are more expensive and harder to find to get a good one, best left as a "down the road" idea for when you are ready.

You will see hand helds that have the anntena and everything ready to go in the $40 to buy little highend walkie-talkies as the power and therefore range is about the same. 2-5 miles if unobstructed or recieving bleed over from a larger radio (semi-trucks, base stations, distracted thoughts...) Whil they seem like a deal, they are not and you will be disappointed.

posted on Sep, 11 2008 @ 11:54 PM
I second the Cobra 29 as a great cb radio, we currently have 3 of them. My husband drives truck for a living, and he has a more expensive model in his work truck, but I have 2 Cobra 29's that work great for a reasonable price. Do a google search (since you mentioned Pine Barrons, I'm assuming you are in/near NJ. I can U2U a link to get you rolling in the right direction if you are interested.


edit to add, watch for U2U from me.

[edit on 9/11/2008 by another_lurker]

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 11:39 PM
find you a galaxy dx99v take it to a cb shop and have them set it up for you then buy a monkey made antenna and a then buy a road king 56 mike for it the range you will get will suprise you. cobras are good radios but takes to much money invested in them to get any range out of them plus galaxy radios have different side bands to them so not every one can here what you are saying the down fall is the antenas around $75 the mike is around $50 and a galaxy dx99v is around $350+

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by Papa Sierra

I agree any galaxy is gonna do what you want it to do plus stuff you never thought a CB could do. How ever The OP is interested in a good price. In this modern world most people do not have the $350 to spend. That's ware the cobra comes in. I just picked up a brand new cobra 29 at a mel trotter store. It was a kit every thing I need to slap it on my daughters new car and off she goes. I paid $15.00.

Myself I use a HR2510 president 10M converted to 11M The Hr has every thing including fm and all the upper and lower side bands. Bought it from an old military friend for $350. He sold it to me because He got a new Galaxy.

Diefently look at the pawn shops and goodwil type stores. Pick them up cheap and use them. Get to know the regulars CBers in your area. Become good friends with them and let them sell you upgraded gear.

You may find that regulars on the bands are helpful folks who know alot about modding the radios for the best performances,

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 09:05 AM
Get a hamradio license they are easy to get and way better than CB's.

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 11:36 AM
reply to post by spines

I used to be into CB radio back in the 70s. Had a bunch of Cobra sets.

I really can't advise on what brands are good these days etc.

I can tell you that, sans getting into Ham, for emergency situations,, it would be a good thing to have. I would get a mobile set and a ac/dc converter to run off house current, with a car battery as back up. (although back in the day, base stations could run on 12v). Get a good omni directional antenna and get it up as high as possible. It is also possible to make a good antenna out of wire (dipoles etc).

This post reminds me I've got to get on the roof to inspect my array for the coming winter.

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